American Legion Family leads Veterans Day efforts at local level

As they do annually, American Legion Family members across the nation led efforts to commemorate Veterans Day. And that was again in the case in Northern California, where the American Legion Family from Post 28 in Petaluma organized the Petaluma Veterans Day Parade.

More than 2,000 participants took part in the parade, which made its way through downtown Petaluma and ended in Walnut Park for a Veterans Day ceremony.

This year’s theme was “Welcome Home to All Vietnam Veterans” and paid special tribute to the men and women of the armed forces who served from 1961 to 1975, the 14 years that Congress officially recognizes as the Vietnam era.

Throughout the country, additional efforts took place on the part of the American Legion Family to honor veterans past and present. The following is a small sampling of some of the events that took place. Posts, districts and departments that led or took part in Veterans Day activities are encouraged to share their stories at


In Hoover, members of American Legion Ryan Winslow Post 911 took part in the annual Birmingham Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11. They also joined with the Krulak Marine Alliance of Alabama and the Marine Corps League, Krulak Detachment, to obtain a large flagpole, along with U.S. and POW/MIA flags, that was installed at Hoover Tactical Firearms. HTF allows each of the organizations to be headquartered in their building for no charge; a dedication ceremony will be at noon on Nov. 12.

“Hoover Tactical has been so gracious in supporting Post 911 and the Krulak Marines, as well as veteran organizations across the state” Post 911 Commander Lynn Thomas said. “This is our way of demonstrating our appreciation to HTF for all they have done for us over these many past years.”


American Legion Post 29 of Siloam Springs conducted a Veterans Day program at the American Legion Community Hall.


In Big Bear Lake, American Legion Post 584 and the city teamed up to host the annual Veterans Day ceremony at Veterans Park. In addition to featuring multiple speakers, the event also served as an opportunity for the post to collect shoe donations. Post 584 is attempting to fill 50 bags of shoes that will be sent to micro-enterprises in developing countries around the world.


In Danielson, L’Homme/Burdick American Legion Post 21 honored veterans in nursing, rehabilitative and assisted living facilities during two separate events.  


American Legion Cyber Post 208 teamed up with the BIVOUAC Veterans Guide and A1A Research, Inc, for a virtual meet-up on Veterans Day. Veterans were invited to give a short introduction on their interests, including serving the community, other veteran causes, or just having fun with outdoor and indoor activities.


Walter H. Burt Post 30 in Albany hosted a Veterans Day breakfast that included a special guest: 100-year-old U.S. Navy veteran Reba Moncus. U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop attended the breakfast and read a proclamation honoring Moncus.


American Legion Post 17 in Honolulu teamed up with the Young Marines, Veterans of Foreign Wars and other veterans services organizations to conduct several Veterans Day services throughout downtown. The services took place at the Honolulu World War II Memorial, the Korean and Vietnam Memorials, and the Hawaii State Capitol.


American Legion Post 120 hosted the city’s annual Veterans Day ceremony in downtown Effingham. The post was joined by other local veteran service organizations, including Teutopolis American Legion Post 924.

Post 120 Sergeant-at-Arms Bill Copple served as master of ceremonies, while Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs service officer Josh Layton was the keynote speaker. A U.S. Marine Corps veterans current Marine Reservist, Layton said, “Veterans Day is for veterans who served their country and came home. But it can't be forgotten for those who didn't make it home or those who couldn't be here today. When servicemembers come home, all injuries are not physical. Some are mental and cannot be seen by the naked eye.”


In Bloomington, the names of 129 local veterans who died during the past year were read during the Veterans Day ceremony at Burton Woolery American Legion Post 18. A bell was rung as each name was read. Following the reading of name, the post’s honor guard fired a gun salute at 11:11 a.m., marking the time on November 11, 1918, when World War I ended.


In Kennebunkport, the Veterans Day ceremony at American Legion Post 159 included the dedication of a new memorial honoring 11 local servicemen killed in action throughout the wars and conflicts of the 20th century.

Post 159 Legionnaire Col. Ron Russell was the guest speaker at the ceremony. He said the various memorials, roads, bridges, schools and other entities dedicated to honoring veterans across the nation are a fitting tribute.

"Is it all too much? I don't think so,” Russell said. “Younger generations ... can’t help but be positively influenced by all these memorials. They will learn that we truly will never forget the sacrifices of our veterans.”


In Frederick, American Legion Francis Scott Key Post 11 hosted a ceremony at Memorial Park that featured a performance by the Harmony Coronet Band, a wreath laying, and guests that included Frederick Mayor Michael O’Conner, city aldermen, Frederick Police Chief Jason Lando, U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, and other local and state officials.

Auxiliary Unit 11 Chaplain Sylvia Johnson closed the ceremony with the reading of the poem “What Is A Veteran?” “Remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just take time to lean over and say, ‘Thank you. Thank you,’” she read. “In most cases, it will mean more than any medals that they could ever receive.”


In Hamilton, Corvallis American Legion Post 91 provided a parade that started at 11 a.m. local time, marching twice around the length of Main Street.

New York

In Southold, Griswold Terry Glover American Legion Post 803 used Veterans Day to begin a new tradition. Post members planted a swamp white oak sapling that was derived directly from the trees located at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City. “Going forward, we will honor other veterans each Veterans Day and add bricks in their name around the growing tree to form a permanent memorial.” Post 803 Commander Charles Sanders said.

North Carolina

· In Hertford, William Paul Stallings American Legion Post 126 and Reid Louder Post 362 presented a Veterans Day observance attended by around 80 people on the lawn of the Perquimans County Courthouse.

· In Coinjock, more than 100 people attended American Legion Post 288’s ceremony at Veterans Park. Post 288 Adjutant Tammy Hamilton thanked veterans for “answering the call to duty” and for making America’s Armed Forces the “most respected in the world. This is a day of honor and great respect. We are here to remember their achievements, their courage, their dedication and to say thank you for those sacrifices.’’ She also thanked veterans’ family members, saying “We know (families) have lived through difficult times and often it took a heavy load to keep the home fires burning. You had the hardest job. We thank you for that.”

· In Edenton, American Legion Post 40 sponsored a ceremony that drew around 80 attendees.


In Massillon, American Legion Post 221 hosted a Veterans Day luncheon that drew area residents and students, in addition to veterans and their families. Massillon Municipal Court Judge Edward Elum was the guest speaker and praised veterans for their contributions to the community.  "Service and sacrifice are the foundation of being a vet," he said. "You have all stepped forward to help defend our nation and freedom."


American Legion Post 141 in Claremore used Veterans Day to both honor veterans and conduct a flag-retirement ceremony. The Claremore High School band and Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps participated in the ceremony. Commander of Post 141 Joe Dorsey said he is thrilled to have the ceremony return after COVID-19 prevented the event last year. He said the Legion plans to hold the ceremony annually. “We try and promote patriotism as much as possible here at The American Legion,” Dorsey told the Claremore Daily Progress. “[The JROTC program] always do a super job, they are great. They work hard and train hard. They are very patriotic men and women.”


In Tannersville, American Legion Post 903 conducted its annual Veterans Day ceremony at the Tannersville War Memorial. "It's very important to bring to the communities the memory of what our country does for us, letting them know that freedom isn't really free," Post 903 Commander Charles Hamberger told WNEP. "There are people, the names there, who fought in the service for our country. All veterans, when they sign up, they pledge their allegiance to this county. I think it's important that the younger generation gets to see what happens, and they don't lose sight of the fact that if it wasn't for our veterans, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights would mean nothing to anybody.”

Rhode Island

In Portsmouth, American Legion Post 18 used its Veterans Day ceremony to honor the department’s first female post commander – Rose Sherburne Clancy, the first Rhode Island woman to enlist in the Navy during World War I – and all women veterans and servicemembers throughout the state. “I feel it's important that we do this every year,” Post 18 Commander Francis Gutierrez told The Newport Daily News. “It validates our veterans and validates the sacrifices they’ve made, and they continue to make every day.”


· In Mansfield, American Legion Post 624 teamed up with the city to put on a Veterans Day parade. A video captures the work the post put into the parade, as well as captures moments of the parade.

· In Missouri City, American Legion Post 294’s honor guard posted the colors at the new Veterans Memorial dedication. Post 294 Commander Ruben Amaya was one of the guest speakers at the dedication.

· In Bryan, American Legion Earl Graham Post 159 hosted a ceremony that was attended by more than 150 people. The ceremony included patriotic music and remarks by retired U.S. Army Major General Kenneth Jones.


In Dayton, American Legion Post 27 honored local veterans during a ceremony that Post Commander Kenneth Hilbert felt was necessary. “We thought we’d get together as a group and let veterans know that we’re here when they need us, and we will be here to care of them in any way we can,” Hilbert told WHSV. Post 27 Finance Officer Ben Ridder added that the post has been doing Buddy Checks throughout the pandemic to reach out to those veterans. “Veterans are feeling alone, especially since this COVID situation,” he said. “We called these veterans about once a month just to see how they were doing, what they needed and what we could do for them.”

West Virginia

· In Wheeling, American Legion Post 1 hosted a ceremony at WesBanco Arena that included a message from the post to area veterans. "At the American Legion Wheeling Post 1, we want to do whatever we can to bring those veterans in, to talk to someone, to talk to our service officer, to talk to another veteran,” Post 1 Commander Howard Brown told WTOV. “Sometimes that's the biggest help they need, just to talk to another veteran.”

· In Charleston, John Brawley Post 20 and the city hosted their 80th annual Veterans Day parade. "When other cities throughout the country are canceling Veterans Day parades, Charleston gets stronger and stronger every year," Post 20 Commander Ed Converse told WCHS.